Hi everybody and welcome back for part 7 in this series ‘The Second Exodus’. If you’ve just joined us, and not watched parts 1 to 6, then it’s good idea to watch those as well because each episode builds upon the former to develop this teaching line upon line, precept upon precept. So where are we currently at in our timeline? Jesus has returned to earth as the Son of Man just as Matt 24 teaches. At this time the Bride who is ready and waiting will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and will be presented to the Father in Heaven, but this is not yet time for the wedding of the Lamb, for Israel is not fully saved, and therefore the wife has not yet made herself ready. First Israel and the Lord have a date in the wilderness that has been prophesied thousands of years earlier. Remember a key point in our studies, is that when Jesus returns as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Revelation 19, He does so with His Bride, that means Israel has been saved prior to this moment, and therefore necessitates an earlier period of time in which the Lord will come as the Son of Man to deliver Israel, and to gather her to Himself, and to enable her to be the wife who has made herself ready. This period of time is what I mean when I refer to ‘The Second Exodus’. Jesus will come for Israel right at the end of 1260 days immediately after the tribulation of those days. At that time Jerusalem will be surrounded by the nations of the world, and in great peril. But the Lord will come and provide a means of escape by standing on the Mount of Olives which will be split into two to form a mountain pass, through which the survivors of the siege will flee. They will flee into the wilderness and will join those who have already sojourned there for the last three and a half years. This place Ezekiel calls the wilderness of the nations or peoples, and I believe a strong contender for its location will be Bozrah, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Edom which is 20 miles south east of the Dead Sea in the land of the nation Jordan.
This will be a place of great bloodshed and vengeance against the nations. Isaiah 63 specifically mentions Bozrah as where this will take place, as does Isa 34:1-8. Here’s verses 4-6 NKJV – 4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as [fruit] falling from a fig tree. 5 “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment. 6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is made overflowing with fatness, With the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Even though there are similarities between this great slaughter described in Isaiah 34 and 63, and what is commonly known as the battle of Armageddon in Rev 19, I do not believe them to be the same. Yes on both occasions Jesus is described as wearing blood stained garments Isa 63:1,2 and Rev 19:13, and on both occasions there is mention of a sword. Isa 34:6 refers to the sword of the Lord filled with blood, and Rev 19:15 as a sharp sword coming out of His mouth with which to strike down the nations, but there are differences also.
Firstly, the location of the slaughter that Isaiah prophesied is in Bozrah, but there is another location of great slaughter that Joel speaks of as the valley of Jehoshaphat or the valley of decision, which connects east Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives. Revelation also mentions a great slaughter outside the city in Rev 14:19,20 “So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.” So these two slaughters happen at different locations, one in Borzah, Edom, and the other just outside Jerusalem.But I believe there is another reason why these battles are not the same. That’s because these two battles happen at different times. Am I saying there will be a battle before Armageddon? Absolutely! Although the battle seems rather one side and more of a slaughter. One happens at the beginning of God’s wrath and the other at the end. There is also a shift in the focus of hostilities during this period. At first, and before the Lord returns, the nations will come against Israel and Jerusalem, that’s where we place Zech 14, when Jerusalem is under siege. But destroying Israel will prove to be impossible, for the Lord will come amongst His people to fight for them. So the focus of hostilities shifts from between the nations and Israel, to a climax between the beast and false prophet and the Lamb, since the Lamb is now upon the earth. Rev 17:14 reads “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” This is a reference to the Battle of Armageddon which concludes the wrath of God. It is demonically induced after the sixth bowl of wrath is poured out on the river Euphrates Rev 16:12-16 and so comes right at the end of this period of wrath: the 30 days it will take between the Beast losing his authority Rev 13:5 to the end of the abomination of desolation Dan 12:11. This is when Jesus will return once more, and as Rev 17:14 records, the Lamb will conquer His enemies because He is Lord or Lords and King of Kings, notice here also in this verse that He is accompanied by His Bride, the called, chosen and faithful.
But what of the bloodshed in Edom? Why should there be as Isaiah writes, “a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the Land of Edom?” I believe the nations who come against Israel and surround Jerusalem will not have relented on their intent to see her downfall and will try again to destroy her, this time they will gather at Bozrah, to surround her once more. Is this what Micah foretold would happen? Let’s read Micah 2:12,13 The Septuagint puts it like this “Jacob shall be completely gathered with all his people: I will surely receive the remnant of Israel; I will cause them to return together, as sheep in trouble, as a flock in the midst of their fold: they shall rush forth from among men through the breach made before them: they have broken through, and passed the gate, and gone out by it: and their king has gone out before them, and the Lord shall lead them.” The Lord is the breaker, the Good Shepherd who will open up the breach, and pass on ahead of His people who will rush forth from among men. They will pass through the gate and shall leave the sheepfold, the enclosure of Bozrah. Into which they had been gathered as a flock in the midst of their fold. The return to Zion has begun.
Did you know that some claim this story is depicted in the stars and constellations of the night sky? It truly is a magnificent tale. For in the northern sky there is a constellation known as Draco, a serpentine dragon, which circles menacingly around another constellation which today is known as the Little Dipper, but in Ancient times was called the Lesser Sheepfold. I encourage you to find a star map that shows these two constellations and you will see one star leading the others out of the Lesser Sheepfold which are all heading out of the enclosing threatening Draco. What’s even more fascinating is that this lead star, is the North Star, also known as Polaris, because it is the one around which all the others move. Well, I’ll leave you to research that one further, but thought it an interesting anecdote worthy of mention.